The U.S. will share its entire supply of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines with world nations once the shot is approved by federal safety regulators, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients told the Associated Press on Monday.
The U.S. is expected to produce up to 60 million AstraZeneca doses that can be exported in the coming months. The news comes as coronavirus spread continues to ravage large nations including India and Brazil.
“Given the strong portfolio of vaccines that the U.S. already has and that have been authorized by the FDA, and given that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not authorized for use in the U.S., we do not need to use the AstraZeneca vaccine here during the next several months,” Zients said. “Therefore the U.S. is looking at options to share the AstraZeneca doses with other countries as they become available.”
The White House is confident that the U.S. supply of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines is enough to vaccinate all Americans. The Biden administration has already exported 4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Canada and Mexico.
AstraZeneca doses are currently in use in dozens of world countries, and was central to the U.K.’s vaccination program that is credited with driving down coronavirus spread in that country. Other European nations briefly halted distribution of the vaccine to investigate a blood clotting issue that may be a rare side effect of the vaccine.
As of April 4, European regulators said that around 222 recipients in the European Union and the U.K. had developed the clot out of over 34 million people who received the vaccine in total.